A rare Rahul-Modi handshake in the House

This happened when the two leaders, Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were greeting the newly elected Speaker Om Birla in the 18th Lok Sabha.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and LOP Rahul Gandhi exchange a handshake as they accompany newly elected Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla to the chair, at Parliament House in New Delhi on Wednesday, June 28, 2024.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and LOP Rahul Gandhi exchange a handshake as they accompany newly elected Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla to the chair, at Parliament House in New Delhi on Wednesday, June 28, 2024.Photo | PTI

It was a moment that was in keeping with the best traditions of the Lok Sabha. Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi shook hands with each other after greeting the newly elected Speaker Om Birla in the 18th Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Rahul Gandhi was the one who made the moment happen by extending his hand to the PM. Modi, to his credit, was quick to react and shake hands with the man who will be the principal opposition voice. Both leaders were wearing smiles as cameras snapped the rare exchange of pleasantries.

After the handshake, Rahul Gandhi, in his address to the House, reminded the Speaker that this time the opposition represents a significantly wider section of the Indian people.

Rahul stressed that this made it all the more imperative for the voice of the opposition to be heard in the House.

"I would like to congratulate you on behalf of the entire opposition and the INDIA alliance," he said.

"You are the final arbiter of people's voice. The government may have political power, but Opposition also represents the voice of the people. The opposition would like to assist you in your work. I am confident you will allow us to speak in House," he added.

PM Modi in his speech earlier had congratulated Birla, saying, "It is a matter of honour that you have been elected to this chair for the second time."

"I congratulate you on behalf of the entire House and look forward to your guidance for the next five years. Your sweet smile keeps the entire House happy," he went on to say.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and LOP Rahul Gandhi exchange a handshake as they accompany newly elected Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla to the chair, at Parliament House in New Delhi on Wednesday, June 28, 2024.
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